AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6 GHz with Vega 11 Graphics Review 67

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6 GHz with Vega 11 Graphics Review

(67 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The AMD Ryzen 5 2400G retails for $169.
  • Great entry-level graphics value as discrete GPU prices remain turbulent
  • Plays anything at 720p 30 FPS (lowest settings)
  • Uses existing AM4 motherboards
  • Decent entry-level CPU performance, 4 cores / 8 threads
  • Feature-rich iGPU supports latest video formats and display standards
  • Unlocked CPU multiplier
  • CPU cooler included
  • Only 4 MB of cache
  • High price if you focus on CPU performance
  • 1080p gaming tough task unless playing older titles
  • Crippled PCIe root complex, discrete GPUs limited to x8 bandwidth, no CF/SLI even on X370
  • BIOS update needed for support on existing motherboards
AMD's new Raven Ridge processors fill a big void in the budget market. Builders of office systems don't want to pay for a discrete graphics card, which was a requirement for the original "Summit Ridge" Ryzens; neither do your parents need a graphics card for the Internet browsing or office work they do. AMD has engineered a new silicon that provides integrated graphics based on the Vega architecture that was released last year. Of course, you shouldn't expect high-end graphics performance from integrated graphics, but it should be sufficient for every day tasks and for some light gaming thanks to AMD's experience in the graphics market.

In terms of CPU performance, we see results comparable to the previous Ryzen generation, which is of no surprise since the Zen architecture is used, though with only minor tweaks. For example, the CCX configuration has been switched from 2+2 to 4+0, which eliminates the bottleneck we saw on Ryzen due to the inter-CCX traffic. On the other hand, Raven Ridge comes with only 4 MB of cache, which is half that of Summit Ridge, and that comes with a performance hit. Overall, averaged over our benchmarks, the Ryzen 5 2400G delivers 7% higher CPU performance than the Ryzen 5 1400, also thanks to higher clock speeds out of the box. When looking at individual tests, we see that depending on the application, performance can be lower than Summit Ridge because those applications work better with a larger CPU cache. Other applications run faster because they scale better with frequency or benefit from the CCX changes. Single-threaded applications generally run significantly slower than on Intel processors, while multithreaded apps work better due to AMD's offerings having more cores/threads. Thanks to the unlocked multiplier, which is included with all of AMD's processor offerings, overclocking the Ryzen 2400G worked reasonably well. We reached 4.0 GHz, which translates into 10% CPU performance gained on average.

Gaming performance of the integrated Vega 11 graphics is comparable to that of a GeForce GT 1030 or Radeon RX 550. Definitely not high-end, most games are playable when you pick the lowest settings and stick to 720p. Of course, this is not the PCMasterRace gaming experience; rather, it's closer to what today's consoles are able to deliver. Older, less demanding titles, like CSGO or DOTA, will certainly run well though, which should be a huge value proposition for iCafes in Asia. Compared to Intel integrated graphics, the Vega IGP of the Ryzen G makes a day and night difference in FPS delivered. However, 1080p 60 FPS gaming isn't gonna happen with any IGP solution. You'll have to shell out some money for a discrete graphics card, at least a GTX 1050 or, better yet, a GTX 1060 or Radeon equivalent.

AMD gives you the option to select the memory size for its integrated graphics in BIOS; we tested 512 MB, 1 GB, and 2 GB. The memory size you select here is permanently allocated to the graphics card, which means it will be "missing" from the system RAM total. While some games show small performance improvements when going from 512 MB to 2 GB, I don't think it's worth the loss in usable memory given today's RAM prices. Intel's integrated graphics do better here, requiring just a small fixed memory portion with the ability to dynamically allocate system RAM for graphics when gaming, keeping that same memory available for applications during productivity work.

You can also pair the new Ryzen APUs with a separate graphics card to increase 3D performance. Be aware that Raven Ridge only provides PCIe x8 3.0 connectivity to the PCIe x16 slot, which will result in a small performance penalty (not a lot, certainly not a deal breaker, refer to one of our PCIe performance scaling articles). This also means that CrossFire/SLI will not be an option due to limited PCIe bandwidth. With multi GPU becoming less and less relevant, this shouldn't be a big deal either. We used a GTX 1080 for our discrete GPU performance testing and saw surprising performance numbers that are lower than expected, especially at high resolutions, which is strange because the GPU should be the limiting factor here, not the CPU. We reported those results to AMD a week ago, but haven't been given an explanation for these numbers. It's not a configuration problem either. When swapping the Ryzen G CPU for a normal Ryzen CPU without changing any BIOS or software settings, using the same Windows installation and drivers, performance is back to expected values. We'll look into this some more and update the review accordingly. As it is right now, due to the performance hit, we can't recommend pairing Raven Ridge with a high-end graphics card (faster than a GTX 1070). Even if it costs a little bit of performance, going for a GTX 1060-class card further down the road to improve graphics performance seems a sensible option, though, due to cost saved vs. other platforms.

We also tested the performance impact of memory speeds. Many people online assumed that Raven Ridge with its different CCX configuration should be more resistant to memory speeds, which would allow cheaper memory to be used. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case. Due to the smaller cache size, the CPU will benefit more from faster memory than the original Ryzen processors. This effect is amplified by the integrated graphics using system memory, where the difference between 2133 MHz and 3200 MHz results in a difference of around 30% integrated graphics performance.

During testing, I noticed that the whole platform does feel more mature than during the first Ryzen reviews. There are still a few little bugs, but nothing major. It's great to see that AMD is sticking with Socket AM4, which means you can use all existing Ryzen motherboards for Ryzen G. Just a BIOS update is required, which I expect to be released by all motherboard manufacturers (some already did). With a price of $169, the Ryzen 5 2400G is fairly affordable and offers a true quad-core with SMT (HyperThreading) and integrated graphics that's much faster than on Intel's counterparts. Prices of motherboards are also a bit lower than on Intel, which means overall platform cost is lower. Please be aware that the cheapest A320 chipset motherboards don't support overclocking despite the unlocked multiplier on all Ryzen processors. It's up to you to decide whether 10% gained from overclocking is worth the extra 15% in motherboard cost. Intel's offerings are also hurt by the fact that this time around, there is only Z370 available with Coffee Lake support, and those motherboards are quite expensive. On the other hand, you have to factor in RAM cost, which has become a huge cost factor due to price increases. While Intel's CPUs generally run happy with slower/cheaper memory, AMD's new CPUs work a lot better with fast memory, especially the integrated graphics benefits a lot. These systems are also a good option for building a compact media PC system: mini ITX boards are readily available and the Vega graphics are powerful enough to run madVR for playback quality improvements. It will be interesting to see what Intel can come up with when they release cheaper Coffee Lake chipsets in a few months. If those are cheap enough, then this could make life more difficult for Ryzen G, especially for gaming. At this time, though, there is no better option if you are looking to build an affordable entry-level system that can also handle light gaming.
Editor's Choice
Next Page »(67 User Comments)